Surge in violent crimes is a blip, says chief

Graeme Kinmond, Fife Police
Graeme Kinmond, Fife Police

LEVENMOUTH was jolted by a short burst of violent crimes in recent weeks.

In just over a fortnight, there had been three attempted murders, along with other incidents involving “serious violence”.

However, the area’s top police officer described it as a “blip” against a background of falling crime across the area and said all the cases had been resolved with people going to custody.

Chief Inspector Graeme Kinmond was presenting an operational and community briefing last week to members of Fife Council’s Levenmouth area committee, detailing matters “which have relevance to community safety” in Levenmouth’s policing area.

Covering mid-January to mid-February, his report highlighted an incident on Methil’s High Street in which a 20-year-old man was assualted and stabbed. A 17-year-old man was later charged with attemped murder.

Later in January, there was a “serious disturbance” in Lawrence Street, Buckhaven, in which a man aged 28 was assaulted and stabbed. Three people were charged with attemped murder.

Last month, a 21-year-old woman was charged with attempted murder after a man aged 35 had suffered a serious stab wound in an incident in Buckhaven’s Randolph Street.

Two incidents of assault occurred on the same day in January – an 18-year-old man suffered facial injuries in a disturbance at Leven Road, with three young men charged with assault. One of them was also charged with possessing an offensive weapon.

A man aged 21 suffered serious facial injuries in Bridge Street, Leven, after which an 18-year-old man was charged with assault to serious injury.

CI Kinmond told councillors the surge of cases was surprising, as there had been very few significant weekend incidents for many months, and the festive season had been one of the quietest in years.

Admitting it had been a stressful time for officers, CI Kinmond added: “They were all unrelated matters but very, very serious.”

Nevertheless, violent crimes were continuing to fall in Levenmouth, along with other categories of offence, according to the report. Crimes of violence in the reporting year from April 1 to January 31 had dropped from 46 to 32, while the detection rate was 97 per cent.

CI Kinmond also said there had been some very positive outcomes relating to other crimes in terms of sentences by the courts. as well as information from the public and police intelligence operations.

He added that the community engagement model of policing would be retained locally after the single force came into being on April 1.